Stakeholders: DOE Employees and Contractors engaged in defense activities for the Department
Scope: Section 3164 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 implements a whistleblower protection program to ensure that covered individuals may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making protected disclosures to a member of a committee of Congress having primary responsibility for oversight of the department, agency, or element of the Government to which the disclosed information relates; an employee of Congress who is a staff member of such a committee and has an appropriate security clearance for access to information of the type disclosed; the Inspector General of the Department of Energy; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and any other element of the Government designated by the Secretary as authorized to receive information of the type disclosed.
- The Secretary shall notify each covered individual of the following:
- The rights of that individual under this section.
- The assistance and guidance provided under this section.
- That the individual has a responsibility to obtain that assistance and guidance before seeking to make a protected disclosure.
- If a covered individual believes that that individual has been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making a protected disclosure under this section, the individual may submit a complaint relating to such matter to the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Department of Energy.
- For each complaint submitted, the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall –
- determine whether or not the complaint is frivolous; and
- if the Director determines the complaint is not frivolous, conduct an investigation of the complaint.
- The Director shall submit a report on each investigation to the individual who submitted the complaint, the contractor concerned, if any, and the Secretary of Energy.
- Whenever the Secretary determines that a covered individual has been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making a protected disclosure under this section, the Secretary shall -
- in the case of a DOE employee, take appropriate actions to abate the action; or
- in the case of a contractor employee, order the contractor concerned to take appropriate actions to abate the action.